Building on the briefing documents released by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office last Monday (free access), the Mayor’s office transmitted his official proposed police reform ordinance to the Joint Committee on Budget and Public Safety Friday. The draft, which will be debated in committee on Tuesday, includes two major changes.
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The first change addresses the new Civilian Office on Police Accountability’s (COPA) ability to determine it’s own outside counsel, by adding language that the city’s Corporation Counsel would now determine choices “after consultation with [COPA]”. Reform advocates had been concerned the Corporation Counsel, who is effectively the Mayor’s attorney, would have undue influence in determining the legal assistance for COPA.
The second change eliminates the possibility of current or former police officers working for COPA as investigators. Police reform advocates have been concerned that Chicago police officers would not be objective enough investigators into potential police misdeeds.